“Rete Disarmo”: stop  Italian weapons towards Turkey after bombing in Syria

The Italian Network for Disarmament has formally asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs to suspend the supply of arms and military systems to the Ankara government

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Rome (NEV), October 19, 2019 –  “Rete Disarmo”, the Italian Network for Disarmament (RID), of which the Globalization and Environment Commission (GLAM) of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI) is part, expressed strong concern for the news of war coming from the border between Turkey and Syria and for the opening of military activities and bombings by the Turkish army.
“We strongly ask the Italian Government to work to stop an escalation of an unacceptable conflict – said Francesco Vignarca, coordinator of RID -. Particularly dramatic are  the Kurdish news reports according to which the first bombing would also have hit civilian targets”.
Rid formally asks the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luigi Di Maio, to suspend all supplies of arms and military systems to the Ankara Government with immediate effect, as required by the law 185 of 1990 which prohibits sending arms to countries in state of armed conflict.
The Turkish armed forces have several T129 helicopters  which are a co-production license for the Italian AW129 Mangusta helicopters by Augusta Westland.
“In the last four years, Italy authorized military supplies for 890 million euros and handed over material for 463 million euros,” stresses Vignarca.
In particular, in 2018, 70 final export licenses were granted for a value of over 360 million euros. Among the authorized materials: weapons or weapon systems with a caliber greater than 19.7mm, munitions, bombs, torpedoes, rockets, missiles and accessories as well as equipment for the direction of fire, aircraft and software.
“It is not acceptable – says Giorgio Beretta, a RID analyst on arms export  – that our Country, which has actively supported the commitment of the Kurdish populations against ISIS, continue to send military systems to Turkey, which  now intends to militarily occupy the Kurdish territories. The time has come for the Italian Parliament to make its voice heard, demanding a halt to supplies of Italian-made military systems until the situation is clarified. Turkey’s membership of NATO cannot constitute an alibi for not addressing the issue and making the necessary decisions”.
“War eliminates our humanity, made of compassion and responsibility towards life and the Earth that do not belong to us. This is why Christians today have the duty to denounce the petty reasons that support wars, to delegalize arms and to practice peace and a theology of peace here and now”, reads the dossier that GLAM has edited for Time for Creation of 2018.